Dhyan Chand’s Name Changed Due to His Friends: 10 Unique Facts About the Hockey Wizard

Dhyan Chand’s Name Changed Due to His Friends: 10 Unique Facts About the Hockey Wizard

On Tuesday, August 29, 2023, India commemorates the 118th birth anniversary of its hockey icon, Major Dhyan Chand. Born on August 29, 1905, in Allahabad, Dhyan Chand’s birthday is observed as National Sports Day across the country. As we celebrate this legendary athlete, here are 10 intriguing facts about his life:

  1. Dhyan Chand enlisted in the Indian Army at the age of 16 and started playing hockey. He dedicated long hours to practice, often continuing until the moon appeared in the sky, which earned him the nickname “Chand” (moon).
  2. During the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics, Dhyan Chand emerged as India’s top scorer, netting an astounding 14 goals. His performance earned him the title of “Hockey’s Magician.”
  3. One of Dhyan Chand’s most cherished matches was the Beighton Cup final between Calcutta Customs and Jhansi Heroes in 1933. He considered it his favorite because of the intense competition and the thrill of the game.
  4. Dhyan Chand’s commitment to hockey was so profound that he would carve hockey sticks out of tree branches and play with them. He was so engrossed in the sport that studies took a back seat.
  5. In the 1932 Olympic final, India defeated the United States 24-1. Dhyan Chand scored eight goals in that match, and he and his brother Roop Singh combined for 25 out of India’s 35 goals throughout the tournament.
  6. Hitler himself offered Dhyan Chand a high-ranking position in the German Army, but the hockey wizard chose to stay in India.
  7. His mastery in hockey was so astonishing that people speculated his hockey stick might be equipped with magnets, considering how he managed to score goals with such precision and speed.
  8. When Dhyan Chand was struggling to score in a particular match, he complained to the match referee about the dimensions of the goalpost, as they seemed narrower by international standards.
  9. Dhyan Chand’s autobiography, “Goal,” reveals his modesty, stating that he was just an ordinary person.
  10. In honor of his legacy, India renamed the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award to the Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award in 2021.

Major Dhyan Chand’s impact on hockey is as indelible as Don Bradman’s in cricket and Pelé’s in football. As the nation remembers this hockey maestro, his remarkable journey continues to inspire generations of athletes and fans alike.

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